Popovers

Posted: January 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Bread, Dairy-free, Vegetarian | Tags: | 2 Comments »

Popovers

Martha Stewart has treated me well this month. This recipe is easy as pie to make and quite tasty. Also very simple to make dairy-free.

Incidentally, everyone was right: a Dutch Baby is nothing more than an overgrown popover.

Popovers

From Martha Stewart Living, January 2010

Yield: 12 small popovers made in a regular muffin tin, or 6 popovers made in a popover tin.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups whole milk or soy milk
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs, lightly whisked
butter or margarine

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F
  2. Whisk eggs. Whisk together milk, flour and salt. Batter will be lumpy. Whisk in eggs.
  3. Heat muffin tin or popover tin in oven for a few minutes. Brush butter or margarine in each cup generously.
  4. Fill each cup a little over halfway with batter. Bake 20 minutes.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until golden brown, about 25 more minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve warm.
  6. If not serving immediately, poke a small hole in each popover to let steam escape. Reheat when you want to serve them.

Mom’s Lemon Bars

Posted: May 31st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Dessert, Vegetarian | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Lemon Bars

My mom has been making these for as long as I can remember. They’re a cinch to make, delicious, and a great way to use up excess lemons (I just picked up several pounds from a friend’s tree to make marmalade… recipe for that coming soon!). These lemon bars are great to bring to tea or potlucks. They’re decadent without being too heavy, sweet without being overly sweet. In a word: perfect.

Lemon Bars

INGREDIENTS

2 ¼ cups flour, divided
½ cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
1 cup butter
4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon baking powder

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Sift together 2 cups flour and ½ cup powdered sugar. Cut in cold butter using a pastry cutter until dough starts to clump together. Don’t overmix!
  3. Pat dough into a 9″x13″ pan and prick the top with a fork. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Beat together granulated sugar, eggs, lemon juice. Sift together ¼ cup flour and baking powder and add it to the egg/lemon/sugar mixture. Mix well.
  5. Pour egg mixture over the top of the baked crust. Bake again at 350°F for 25 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely in pan. Sift powdered sugar over the top and cut into squares.

Dutch Baby

Posted: March 28th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Breakfast, Dairy-free, Vegetarian | Tags: | 7 Comments »

Look! I made a crazy thing!

Dutch Baby

Look at the lift on this thing!

It’s called a Dutch Baby. It’s not actually Dutch, but German. The theory is that “Dutch” is an Americanized version of the word “Deutsch” (German). The baby part? I have no idea. I don’t know about you, but I don’t generally put babies in the oven.

Last weekend my friend Rick made dutch babies as part of a manly start to a manly day. I was so taken with his photographs that I knew I had to try one of my own. He sent me this recipe, which has a great picture tutorial. I followed it (mostly) and my baby came out great, just like it was supposed to. I was kind of amazed that it actually puffed. Some sort of crazy kitchen alchemy I tell you.

The recipe is basically the same as the Swedish Pancakes recipe I grew up with, except that it has three times as many eggs — hence the puffiness. The dutch baby batter is also completely unsweetened and unsalted, and as a result I felt its taste was slightly lacking. Next time I think I’ll add a pinch of salt and a couple tablespoons of brown sugar, per the swedish pancake recipe. Hopefully that won’t mess with the chemistry that leads to the puffiness. I also feel it could’ve done with a lot less butter. Edit: Tried it with the salt, brown sugar, and less butter. Marked improvement! Also, putting the butter in the oven for a few minutes to brown is makes it even awesomer.

Of course you can top a dutch baby with anything you think of. I went with simple maple syrup, but lemon juice/powdered sugar is also recommended, as is fruit, or jam. Yum!

Dutch Babies (aka German Pancakes)

From German Pancakes – Dutch Babies by WhatsCookingAmerica.net

Feeds 2-4 people

INGREDIENTS:

3 eggs, room temperature (it is important that they’re room temp, not cold)
1/2 cup milk, room temperature (I used soymilk)
1/2 cup sifted bread flour or all purpose flour*
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
generous pinch salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar

* Bread flour gives the dutch baby more lift, but I used all purpose flour and it worked beautifully.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pull your eggs and milk out of the fridge and let sit till room temperature. Start the oven preheating to 450F. Place 10-12″ cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe frying pan) in the oven while it’s preheating. Use a pan that has sides that are at most 3″ tall.
  2. While the oven’s preheating, mix the batter. In a large bowl, whisk eggs till light and frothy. Add milk, flour, vanilla, cinnamon (and salt and sugar); whisk 5 more minutes till lumps are gone or mostly gone.
  3. Using a pot holder, pull the skillet out of the oven. Put butter into skillet and swirl it around until it’s melted, being sure to get it up on the sides of the pan. Stick it back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so, to get the butter a little browned.
  4. Pour batter in pan all at once and immediately return to the oven. Bake 20-25 minutes till puffed and golden brown. I know it’s tempting, but don’t open the oven midway through to check!
  5. Serve immediately with maple syrup, fruit, jam, or lemon juice and powdered sugar. The sky’s the limit when it comes to toppings!

Mushroom Spinach Quiche

Posted: March 25th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Pies, Vegetarian | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

Mushroom Spinach Quiche

Those bacon recipes are a hard act to follow since they were just soooooo decadent, but my friend Dani and I made something delightful tonight, so I just have to share! I know, I know, mushroom spinach quiche — boring, right? No, actually it turned out completely delicious. There’s a reason quiches are so popular. Plus it was really fun cooking with Dani, tasting things along the way and getting slightly starry-eyed together.

To make this quiche, I ended up pulling together two recipes I found on the internet:

  1. Quick Spinach Mushroom Quiche from AllRecipes.com, by Mindy Spearman
  2. Mushroom Quiche from SimplyRecipes.com

In the first recipe, I wasn’t big on the packaged soup seasoning or the crescent rolls, so I trolled the comments for suggestions for substitution. MAVENZ99 recommends 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper, a pinch of thyme, and 1/2 tsp. dry mustard. Sounded good to me, so I went with that. I added a bit of nutmeg too, thanks to the second recipe — and shallots instead of green onions.

I used a Mrs. Smith’s frozen pie crust. Not exactly the healthiest thing in the world, but better than Pillsbury — at least with Mrs. Smith’s the hydrogenated oil only showed up in the “less than 2%” section of the ingredients, after baking soda (it was the second or third ingredient in the Pillsbury crusts!). I could have gone for the super healthy organic whole wheat crust but I wanted that light flakiness that you can’t really get with whole wheat flour. And yes, I could have made my own crust, but honestly, I don’t have time for that on a weeknight! Sorry guys.

I liked the method from the second recipe better, so I followed that for the most part. I also made some modifications of my own. I used soymilk instead of half & half in deference to my lactose intolerant boyfriend. In my experience that kind of substitution doesn’t make much of a taste difference, but it sure is healthier! Feel free to use half & half though, if you prefer. I’m sure it’d be awesome. Lastly I used Jarlsberg (a kind of swiss cheese) instead of Monterey Jack or Gruyere, and put a dash of sherry in the pan with the mushrooms to reduce. Mmm.

Spinach Mushroom Quiche

Adapted from Quick Spinach Mushroom Quiche from AllRecipes.com, by Mindy Spearman, and Mushroom Quiche from SimplyRecipes.com.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 frozen 9″ pie crust, or make your own
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter or margarine)
  • 2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms (I used large brown ones)
  • 2 cups torn spinach leaves, packed down a bit
  • 2 medium shallots, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste for seasoning mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • pinch dry thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup soymilk (or milk or half & half)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded Jarlsberg (or cheese of your choice)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Pull out pie crust and let thaw for 15 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes till golden brown but not too dark. If you want, you can line it with tinfoil and fill it with dried beans to prevent it from puffing, but we didn’t do this and it worked just fine. I just poked the puffiness down a bit. Let cool completely (it should be done by the time you’re done with everything else).
  2. Chop all your veggies and shred your cheese while the pie crust is baking.
  3. Heat olive oil in skillet (I like cast iron) over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, for a few minutes until translucent and slightly brown. Add mushrooms; season with salt & pepper. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms have released some liquid and it has evaporated — about 8-10 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium-high to caramelize them a bit. They should be dark golden brown. Splash a bit of cooking sherry in and stir the mushrooms around in it till the sherry is all evaporated — shouldn’t take long. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until it’s significantly reduced — about 3 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the soymilk and spices and continue whisking till combined.
  5. Spread half the cheese in an even layer over the bottom of the pie crust. Add the spinach/mushroom combination in an even layer over the cheese. Add the rest of the cheese in another layer. Pour the egg mixture over the top.
  6. Put quiche on another pan to catch the drips. Cook in 375F oven for 30-35 minutes until the center is just set (not jiggly). You may need to put tinfoil over the crust partway through to prevent it from burning, but we didn’t run into any problems with that. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting.

What we ended up with was a delightful, faintly sweet but still quite savory pie, rich and filling but not in a way that makes you feel like you might have a heart attack any moment. We enjoyed a few slices with a nice salad and had a lovely, completely satisfying meal together.


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